Tier 3 Blyth anyone?

Nine days out from Christmas, the government will review tier placement for each of the regions in the UK tomorrow.

Currently, Northumberland has a rate of 172 positive cases per 100,000 (or rolling rate of 153.8 depending upon which statistics you look at) which while slightly down on the previous week is still higher than at the end of the last lockdown.

As of tonight, I have obtained information that the decision is “highly likely” that Northumberland and therefore Blyth will remain in Tier 3 until at least the end of the year. The reason cited is the necessity of travel over boundaries for work during the period.

Work which, unless essential, should be conducted from home anyway.

Or have I got that wrong?

The restrictions don’t seem to end there with the government now looking at reviewing rules for Christmas, due to scientists and the opposition leader coming out and recommending tightened regulations to stop a potential third wave appearing in the new year.

Tier 3 Blyth Christmas Alternatives?????

The alternatives thought to be under discussion (according to Sky news) are;

  • Keeping the rules as they are but toughening up the messaging
  • Reducing the number of days the rules are relaxed for
  • Reducing the number of households that are allowed to mix
  • Still allowing travel but restricting it to the same region
  • Moving the window to another time.

Sorry, but how do you move Christmas? Are we talking about Christmas 2?
John Lithgow already tried that in Santa Claus the Movie – total disaster.

The government has taken the stance that these are suggestions rather than rules. That if you do have people over for Christmas in your three-household bubble, that you don’t hug each other, don’t sing and keep the windows open. Which considering Blyth isn’t renowned for being the warmest this time of year – seems that the elderly risk, not just COVID but also hyperthermia.

However, if these are suggestions, and you don’t have any vulnerable or elderly members in your family, then you might as well get together with four households and wait for the police not to turn up and not give you a fine.

The easiest solution is to give us the rules and tell us to stick to them, rather than hedge your bets and hope people don’t notice. The problem is that this topsy turvy approach, that the entire country has been through is, unfortunately, something no government would like to have to manage.

It’s been a year of stats by scientists, stats by the other scientists, opinions by government, views by the opposition, and realistically an unhealthy dose of fake news that has led me to believe that when the pubs do open, a scotch egg, may be all I need to keep a hangover at bay the next day.

The mixed messaging across the world is taking its toll.  Look at France, where earlier today, the French PM suggested that children can skip school as of Thursday so that families are COVID free over the festive period.

This risk-averse approach ties in with several national parenting forums implying that today is the last day their child will attend school as they undergo a self-imposed 10-day isolation period. Indeed upon review of local social media, it seems Blyth also has a large proportion of children whose term may end tomorrow so that they can see grandparents safely over Christmas.

Which begs the question, if we are to remain in Tier 3, a tier that will ultimately see the continuation of a disastrous year for the local hospitality and leisure industries, why send the kids to school tomorrow and possibly infect granny as she tucks into some Christmas turkey?

That’s the message.

Oh sorry, I forgot it’s just a suggestion.

It seems a bizarre mixed up way to end the year, but then again who’d have thought nine months on we’d still be arguing over what exactly a bubble is.
Or whether Children should get free meals. Or whether Brexit is real. Or whether a vaccine has been rushed.

The public needs a break from it all, but COVID doesn’t give a damn.

So the best way is to look at the latest statistics and take it from there.
A yougov survey, released earlier today, suggests 57% of people think we should drop the Christmas relaxation of the rules and maintain the current regulations over Christmas.

Then there it is, clear as day. Cancel Christmas.

Until you read that it’s a survey of 3856 adults.

In a country of 66 million.